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Healthy Snacks for Kids : Smoothies

Smoothies for KidsSend a few simple ingredients for a wild ride in a blender and you’ll have delicious, nutritious, kid-pleasing smoothies in mere seconds.

Smoothies pull double duty by quenching thirst and satisfying hunger at the same time. Quick and easy to prepare, smoothies can be an ideal between-meal snack.

What We Love About Smoothies :

  • They taste as bright and pretty as they look.
  • They’re a great way to sneak more fiber and antioxidants into your kids. (But all they’ll care about is the taste.)
  • They don’t require a lot of fussy ingredients.
  • They give new life to overripe fruit.
  • They can be easily tailored to suit individual needs.
  • Even kids with dairy allergies can enjoy fabulous fruit or vegetable smoothies.

Find a MixStirs in your neighborhood and give your kids a smoothie they will enjoy!!!

Good Looks Smoothie

Want to make yourself more attractive simply by drinking?

We don’t mean looking in the mirror after 10 pints of Stella, either – root vegetables such as parsnips are high in potassium, which strengthens hair and nails, while the carrots, peppers and melon are full of skin-healing and cleansing vitamins A and C.

Ingredients

2 peeled carrots
1 ½ peeled and diced
Galia melon
1 peeled parsnip
1 deseeded green pepper
100ml fresh orange juice

Blend all the fruit and veggies together, adding the juice at the end to improve the drink’s texture and give an extra boost of vitamin C.

High-Protein Diets for More Fat Loss

While the media focus on low-carb vs. low-fat diets, they tend to miss the point about high-protein diets. It’s well known in the fitness industry that higher protein intakes help with fat loss. For one thing, protein helps control appetite.

Most bodybuilding nutritionists recommend that 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is effective for building muscle and burning fat in normal-weight men and women. But overweight individuals should have more.

A study published in The Nutrition Journal tested the effect of supplemental protein intake on weight loss in 100 obese men and women. All of the subjects received two protein-enriched meal replacement shakes per day. But half received a total of 1 extra gram of protein per pound of lean body mass per day. And the other half received a total of 0.5 extra grams of protein per pound of lean body mass per day.

At the end of 12 weeks, both groups had lost approximately 8 to 9 pounds of weight, but the higher-protein group had lost more fat (3.6 pounds vs. 1.32 pounds).

You can get protein from nuts (a few grams per ounce), beans, tofu, peanut butter, lentils, peas, bananas, apples, oranges, sesame seeds, the list goes on.

If you want to lose fat, a little extra protein can go a long way.

Exercise Stronger

CoQ10 helps the heart pump blood

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a nutrient that occurs naturally in every cell in the body, improved blood-vessel function and increased peak exercise capacity in those with heart disease, in two new studies.

In a coronary artery disease (CAD) study, researchers recruited 33 men and five women, average age 55, who had CAD and whose hearts pumped blood normally, to take 300 mg of CoQ10 in three 100 mg does per day or a placebo for one month. Doctors measured the activity of an important antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase or SOD on blood vessel walls, which declines in CAD. Those who had taken CoQ10 had a 29% increase in SOD activity compared to 4% for placebo. Scientists also measured the arteries’ ability to relax (dilate), the heart’s ability to deliver oxygen and the cells’ capacity to absorb oxygen and found that, in all three measures, those who had taken CoQ10 had significantly greater improvement compared to placebo. Participants who began with the lowest SOD activity improved remarkably.

In chronic heart failure (CHF), the heart is damaged and may not fill with or pump enough blood. Researchers recruited 20 men and three women with CHF, average age 59, to participate in four, four-week double-blind phases taking: 1) 300 mg of CoQ10 in three 100 mg doses per day without exercise training, 3) a placebo without exercise, or 4) a placebo with supervised exercise training. Doctors measured the capacity of the cells to absorb oxygen and the ability of the arteries to dilate. Compared to placebo, the CoQ10 group increased by 9% and 38% respectively. Scientists also tracked an index that measures the ability of the left ventricle of the heart to pump blood, which improved by 12%.

Superfoods for a Super Body

There are lots of foods that are good for you. But these 10 superfoods go beyond a simple vitamin dose here or a nutrient-drenched nibble there. These are research-backed, expert-beloved disease fighters and energy boosters. Making them your go-to eats is easy-we’ve got a month’s worth of recipes and a menu planner, so you don’t even have to think about what’s for dinner tonight. Dig in!

Lemon

  • Just one lemon has more than 100 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C, which may help increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels and strengthen bones.
  • Citrus flavonoids found in lemons may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and act as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Quick Tip – Add a slice of lemon to your green tea. One study found that citrus increases your body’s ability to absorb the antioxidants in the tea by about 80 percent.

Broccoli

  • One medium stalk of broccoli contains more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement and almost 100 percent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C-two essential bone-building nutrients.
  • The same serving also helps stave off numerous cancers.
  • Quick Tip – Zap it! Preserve up to 90 percent of broccoli’s vitamin C by microwaving. (Steaming or boiling holds on to just 66 percent of the nutrient.)

Dark Chocolate

  • Just one-fourth of an ounce daily can reduce blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals.
  • Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants shown to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL levels.
  • Quick Tip – A dark chocolate bar contains about 53.5 milligrams of flavonoids; a milk-chocolate bar has fewer than 14.

Potatoes

  • One red potato contains 66 micrograms of cell-building folate-about the same amount found in one cup of spinach or broccoli.
  • One sweet potato has almost eight times the amount of cancer-fighting and immune-boosting vitamin A you need daily.
  • Quick Tip – Let your potato cool before eating. Research shows that doing so can help burn close to 25 percent more fat after a meal, thanks to a fat-resistant starch.

Salmon

  • A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of depression, heart disease and cancer.
  • A three-ounce serving contains almost 50 percent of your daily dose of niacin, which may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
  • Quick Tip – Opt for wild over farm-raised, which contains 16 times as much toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) as wild salmon.

Walnuts

  • Contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce cholesterol, of all nuts.
  • Omega-3s have been shown to improve mood and fight cancer; they may protect against sun damage, too (but don’t skip the SPF!).
  • Quick Tip – Eat a few for dessert : The antioxidant melatonin, found in walnuts, helps to regulate sleep.

Avocado

  • Rich in healthy, satisfying fats proven in one study to lower cholesterol by about 22 percent.
  • One has more than half the fiber and 40 percent of the folate you need daily, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.

5 Reasons Spending Time With Friends Is Great For Your Health

1. Laughing is an allover body workout.

Research from Stanford University says that 100 hearty laughs are as good for your heart as 15 minutes on a stationary bike. Now that’s an excellent punch line.

2. Laughter also boosts your immune system.

When you crack up over your best friend’s antics, the levels of disease and virus fighting cells in your body increase, according to a study from Loma Linda University School of Medicine.

3. Spending time with friends helps you chill.

A UCLA study found that the experience of bonding with other people when you’re stressed out triggers the release of the calm-inducing chemical oxytocin in your body.

4. Happy hour strengthens your heart.

A recent American Heart Association study says a glass of red wine a day can lower your heart disease risk by more than 20 percent.

5. Talking with friends wards off depression.

According to a British study of chronically depressed women, those who met with volunteer confidants experienced a 72 percent remission of depression – the same success rate as many antidepressants and cognitive therapy!

What Anti-Fat-Loss Substance Could Be Ruining Your Diet?

The two most weight gaining habits that are making your belly look like jelly are snacking on high-sugar, high-carb foods late at night and drinking alcohol. There are a few solutions that can improve your health and make you leaner.

You should first make sure you eat enough during the day and at 3-4 hour intervals. This enables your body to burn fat all day, keep your metabolism at a steady rate and provides your body with nutrients all day. This will also prevent you from binging or being hungry at night. You should stop eating at least 3 hours before you go to bed because your metabolism slows down at night, leaving your late-night snacks as unburned calories and stored as fat.

You should avoid eating foods with a high-glycemic carbohydrate index. High- glycemic carbs increase blood sugar and increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease. You should avoid eating high-glycemic snacks such as ice cream, potato chips, and cookies. You should replace them with low-glycemic index carbs such as fruits and vegetables. A great idea for a healthy snack that is full of protein is a smoothie. Smoothies are often made from real fruit juice and rarely have added sugar.

If you’re on the path of trying to lose weight, you should say no to alcohol. Alcohol is full of calories and slows down your metabolism. When alcohol is ingested, it passes through the stomach and intestines, into the bloodstream, then into the liver. In the liver, it is converted into acetaldehyde, which is then converted into acetate. Because acetate is readily bio-available, your body will burn it first, instead of carbs, protein, or fat. If you do choose to have a drink, you should have it with food to slow down its absorption rate and protect the lining of the stomach and small intestine.

The next time you’re having bad-for-you food craving, pass up the donuts and go for something like a healthy smoothie. You can improve your health and lose weight today by making these simple changes to your lifestyle.

Acai – The World’s Healthiest Fruit

Açaí [ah-say-ee]

Move over pomegranates, açaí might just be the perfect food! This wild-harvested, nutrient-packed palmberry from the Amazon Rainforest is the world’s healthiest fruit. In addition to giving you a whopping boost of 100% natural energy, this “superfood” can help improve cardiovascular health, promote a healthy digestive system, reduce cholesterol, increase brain function, decrease the risk of cancer and diminish the signs of aging. How? Look below to learn more.

 

Amazon Mania Açaí

Amazon Mania (AM) has established a reputation for producing the best tasting and healthiest açaí in Brazil. What makes us different? The most obvious answer is taste. Taste test after taste test, Brazilians and Americans prefer the flavor of AçaíTwistTM to that of any other brand. In addition to its delicious taste, similar to a blend of berries and chocolate, AçaiTwistTM contains the least amount of added sugar and preservatives. A hint of guaraná is added for taste, as well as to enhance mental awareness and stamina. Moreover, AM is the only brand of açaí in the U.S. that is unpasteurized, which means it retains the taste of all of the very nutrients for which it is famous. In fact, we guarantee it is the best tasting açaí you’ll ever try. But don’t trust us, taste it for yourself. Also look for AçaíRawTM, simply pure, raw Amazon Mania Açaí.

 

Help Save the Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Mania (AM) has quickly become one of Brazil’s top açaí suppliers. Its success can be attributed to its products’ quality, as well as its social and environmental consciousness. AM’s brand is synonymous with the world’s healthiest and best tasting açaí. Additionally, AM is dedicated to saving the Amazon by contributing 15% of net profits to funds that support education for the local, indigenous people and create economic incentives to regenerate the Rainforest. Thus, your purchase of AM products directly supports initiatives that prevent further deforestation of the Amazon.

 

Get Creative!

There are so many uses for AçaíTwistTM that you are only limited by your imagination. Blend it by itself or add any number of healthy (or not so healthy) ingredients to create a delicious and nutritious smoothie, cocktail or snack. Try it with fruit, juice, soy milk, yogurt, liquor or ice cream. Add champagne for a refreshing brunch libation or mix in Kahlua, Bailey’s and/or vodka for a soothing nightcap. Experiment with an açaí reduction sauce for your meat or poultry. Or just sprinkle it with granola to enjoy it the traditional Brazilian way. The tasty combinations are endless.

The Fat Burning Power Of Green Tea

Consumption of green tea has been associated with a number of positive effects on health.  Several studies have shown regular use of green tea can aid fat loss.  Green tea is believed to augment norepinephrine, a hormone that promotes fat breakdown.  Other possible benefits of green tea include decreased food intake and decreased formation of fat.

Polyphenols, the bioactive compounds in green tea, account for a third of the dry weight of the leaves.  The predominant polyphenols are the catechins including epicatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, epigallocatechin and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).  Most research has focused on EGCG as the predominant polyphenol.

German researchers recently tested the effects of EGCG rates of carbohydrate and fat oxidation.  Subjects consumed either 300 mg of EGCG or placebo, supplementation with EGCG caused a shift in energy utilization from carbohydrate to fat oxidation.  The effect was more pronounced after eating a meal.  In the placebo trial, only 30% of the total energy burned after the meal was attributed to fat, whereas 54% of the energy burned came from fat oxidation after EGCG supplementation.

These results show supplementation with 300 mg EGCG encourages use of fat over carbohydrate as fuel, which provides a plausible mechanism to explain the anti-obesity effects of green tea.

Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease. It’s not as hard as you may think!  Remember, it’s the overall pattern of your choices that counts.

Make the simple steps below part of your life for long-term benefits to your health and your heart.

Use up at least as many calories as you take in.    

Start by knowing how many calories you should be eating and drinking to maintain your weight. Don’t eat more calories than you know you can burn up every day. Increase the amount and intensity of your physical activity to match the number of calories you take in. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week or — best of all — at least 30 minutes every day.  Regular physical activity can help you maintain your weight, keep off weight that you lose and help you reach physical and cardiovascular fitness. If you can’t do at least 30 minutes at one time, you can add up 10-minute sessions throughout the day. more

Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups.
   
You may be eating plenty of food, but your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs to be healthy. Nutrient-rich foods have vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients but are lower in calories. To get the nutrients you need, choose foods like vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products and fat-free or low-fat dairy products most often. more

  • Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber — and they’re low in calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and your blood pressure.
  • Unrefined whole-grain foods contain fiber that can help lower your blood cholesterol and help you feel full, which may help you manage your weight.
  • Eat fish at least twice a week. Recent research shows that eating oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (for example, salmon, trout, and herring) may help lower your risk of death from coronary artery disease. 

Eat less of the nutrient-poor foods. 

The right number of calories to eat each day is based on your age and physical activity level and whether you’re trying to gain, lose or maintain your weight. You could use your daily allotment of calories on a few high-calorie foods and beverages, but you probably wouldn’t get the nutrients your body needs to be healthy. Limit foods and beverages high in calories but low in nutrients, and limit how much saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. Read labels carefully — the Nutrition Facts panel will tell you how much of those nutrients each food or beverage contains.

As you make daily food choices, base your eating pattern on these recommendations:

  • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
  • Select fat-free, 1 percent fat, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
  • Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day.
  • Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
  • Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Aim to eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means one drink per day if you’re a woman and two drinks per day if you’re a man.
  • Follow the American Heart Association recommendations when you eat out, and keep an eye on your portion sizes.

Also, don’t smoke tobacco — and stay away from tobacco smoke. more

(Source : American Heart Association Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations)